At least 20 sheep have been mauled to death by two dogs in West Auckland, in what’s believed to be the third attack in the area, in just a few months.
Two dogs were caught in the act yesterday, by a farm owner in West Auckland as she was leaving home to take her 6-year-old son to school.
“Liam was in the car ready to go to school,” Wendy Christie said, “I noticed all the animals were all in a big clump which was unusual for them”.
“I had a further look and what I saw was a couple of dogs rounding up our sheep, there was one sheep lying on its back, basically still kicking while one of those dogs was on top of it, pinning it down."
Mrs Christie believes their property was the last the dogs visited in a killing spree thought to have gone on throughout the night, across multiple properties.
Her husband Jason said, “We went for a walk yesterday and we just saw more and more [dead sheep] as we went”.
“We’re talking sheep that’ve had throats ripped out, that’ve now got no ears, it’s just terrible”, he said. “You think of it at its worst and that’s just what it is”.
He said some stock on other properties are severely injured and yet to be put out of their misery.
Mr Christie called Auckland Council’s Animal Management team to the scene yesterday, after tying the two dogs involved to his fence.
He says those who responded told him they’d “never seen anything like it”.
The Animal Management team’s manager Sarah Anderson told 1 NEWS, “The dogs, a Hunterway Ridgeback cross and a Staffy Labrador cross, were impounded on arrival”.
“We believe that the dogs have attacked sheep on five properties in the area. An investigation has begun with witness statements and DNA taken. Sadly we now believe there are 20 sheep dead and three injured.”
She said, “These dogs have been impounded previously for suspected stock attacks”.
Sheep have been killed in the same way at other properties on Forest Hill Road in Waiatarua, twice, since August.
“These dogs have been given back to the owners [when this happened before], and we just cannot have this happen this time, that is my main concern”, Mr Christie told 1 NEWS.
Ms Anderson says in the previous occasions, “a lack of evidence including witnesses and inconclusive DNA tests, and statements from stock owners believing they were not the attacking dogs meant that we could not hold the dogs”.
“We’re veered often to a DNA scenario, which worries me a bit”, said Mr Christie, saying the dogs were caught in the act this time, so there’s no question about who’s responsible.
He says they should be put down immediately.
Auckland Council Animal management wants to thank the community involved for their help.
“We continue to remind all dog owners to keep their dogs under control and properly confined at all times. Farmers, or anyone concerned, should call the council on 09 301 0101 and report all roaming dogs”, said Ms Anderson.
Mr Christie said, “we wouldn’t want this to happen to anybody you know … you’ve just to house your dogs and make sure you know where your dog is”.